How to Choose a Body Moisturizer – Prevent Dry, Irritated, Flakey Skin

Many of us are concerned with the health of our skin, but we focus on our face. In reality, all of our skin deserves some care and attention. As the seasons change, we may notice more dryness in our skin, or if the weather becomes a bit colder, our skin may become flakey or red. Choosing a body moisturizer is very important during this time.

person applying body moisturizer
The skin of the body matters too – source

Depending on your skin concerns, you can choose a different body moisturizer to suit your needs. Learn why we get dry skin in the first place, how to choose a good moisturizer, and some quick tips that can help heal your skin instantly.

What Naturally Causes Dry Skin

Skin is the body’s protection against the elements. The body naturally produces ingredients to support the skin, like naturally occurring ceramides, fatty acids, and squalene. This help protects the skin barrier to protect us from water loss.

In someone with a skin condition like eczema or dermatitis, they cannot produce enough of these ingredients which causes the skin to lose water. People with these skin conditions naturally have dryer skin.

As you age, the skin loses some of its ability to produce moisturizers and natural oils, which is why your skin may get dryer as you grow older. Your skin also loses natural exfoliation, which may increase flaky dry skin.

What Habits Cause Dry Skin

Your cleanser might be a reason you have dry skin. Some common cleanser mistakes include over-cleansing or using a cleanser that is too harsh. Another habit is showering with hot water, as this also strips the skin of natural oils that are meant to protect you.

What to Look for in a Body Moisturizer

You want to look for ingredients that are occlusive, water-replenishing, and soothing. A body moisturizer should be moisturizing as well as hydrating. As discussed in this article, there is a between hydration and moisturization. Hydrating is the act of supplying the skin with water and moisturizing is the act of locking it in. 

Therefore, a good moisturizer for the body should have both hydrating and moisturizing ingredients. Hydrating and moisturizing can be divided into emollients, which fill in the gaps between skin cells, humectants, which hydrate, and occlusives, which lock in the water.

Get the full list of ingredients that are hydrating and moisturizing here. Humencts include something like glycerin or hyaluronic acid, emollients are fats like ceramides, squalene, or shea butter, and occlusive examples are petrolatum and dimethicones.

Ingredients for Specific Dry Skin Concerns:

Here’s what to do if you have specific skin concerns. Every person’s skin is different so there is no one size fits all for skincare. Try out different products by knowing what ingredients to look for. Make sure to do a patch test, always, before applying the new product all over your skin.

A patch test is done by applying a small amount to either the side of the neck or inner arm, then waiting for 48 hrs to see if you have an adverse reaction.

Flakey Skin

For flakey skin, while exfoliation may seem like a good option, it is important to hydrate the skin barrier first. Look for moisturizers with squalene, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. 

Rough and Bumpy Skin

For this skin concern, it is important to moisturize while treating the roughness and bumps. Look for moisturizers with salicylic acid or lactic acid.

Itchy Skin

Itchy skin may worsen the skin barrier because if you’re scratching, you are just creating more damage. Look for ingredients that are soothing like oat, chamomile, or green tea.

Red Skin

Many moisturizers can also work to treat areas of redness on the body. Look for moisturizers with niacinamide, which regulates redness. You can also use ingredients that are soothing, like oat and chamomile, as these also help reduce irritation and redness.

Tips to Prevent Dry Skin and Heal the Moisture Barrier

Here are some quick, fast-acting tips if you need relief now! Try them out along with your new moisturizer to see how the skin improves today.

  • Do a shower sandwich –  no it’s not snacking in the shower. Learn everything you need to know about this trend here. 
  • Hydrate well – if your body is dehydrated your skin is as well.
  • Take a collagen supplement – consuming collagen can help boost skin health greatly.
  • Apply moisturizer on damp skin – this will allow the moisture to skin in and for a protective layer over the skin. Moisturize within 5 minutes of showering
  • Try Slugging out – this helps to lock moisture in greatly. Get the full guide here!
  • Get a humidifier – this will help a lot, especially in colder months.

The Takeaway

If you have dry, flakey, red, or irritated skin, you are not alone. It is important to take care of the body and the skin of the face, so make sure you pick up a good body moisturizer with hydrating ingredients. The skin is our largest organ, responsible for protecting us and keeping up safe.

Look for moisturizers that are both hydrating and moisturizing for the body and make sure you know what ingredients you need for specific skin concerns. Use body moisturizers that have emollients, humectants, and occlusive ingredients for optimal skin. 

You can also make some lifestyle changes like getting a humidifier or slugging.

Remember that health starts from within. Eat well, hydrate, work out daily, and wellness will flourish. Fitness is about the daily habits you do that help you thrive. Take care of your mental health, treat yourself, and practice skincare on the entire body, not just the face.

Remember gut health too! Many skin issues may be due to an unbalanced gut which can be caused by certain foods, or a lack of variety in your diet. The microbiota is responsible for serotonin production (a happiness chemical), immune system response, digestion, metabolism, and much more, so it’s essential to keep it healthy and happy.

Learn everything you need to know about gut microbiota today for free here!

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